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8912639 Hebrews 11 Walking Through the Hall of Faith[1]

8912639 Hebrews 11 Walking Through the Hall of Faith[1]

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Published by: danielbean on Dec 01, 2009
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10/21/2011

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Contrary to what some my believe, faith does not begin with the future, it begins

where you are and then looks out at the horizon of opportunities. A man lost in the dark

on the flat plains of Kansas may look out and see the lights of several different homes or

towns. The possible directions may span 360 degrees and yet whatever his choice may

be the journey begins with where he is. Faith is not a denial of the realities in which we

find ourselves, but a journey toward the possibilities which God lays before us. Faith

stands squarely on the problem and reaches beyond that which we can see and seizes the

answer.

Jephthah's reality was that he had a lot going against him from the day he was

born. He was born to prostitute. During a time when inheritance of land or wealth was

paramount to the future success of a child, Jephthah's half brothers seized upon his

ignominious beginnings as an opportunity to cut Jephthah out of the inheritance picture.

They used force to "chase" him or "drive" him away from his home, his family and his

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inheritance. The picture of Jephthah fleeing from his brothers suggests that his very life

was in jeopardy if he had not left.

Jephthah fled to the land of Tob which was on the frontier of the Land of Promise.

He was as far from his family as he could get and yet remain within Hebrew territories.

As one might expect Jephthah found other outcasts in the area. Instead of sulking and

complaining about the unfairness of the conditions in which he now found himself,

Jephthah proceeded to gather the outcasts of the area into a band of warriors who

followed his lead. He left his home as a rejected and despised child of a prostitute but he

begins immediately to rise above his rejection and become a leader. The text indicates

that it didn't take long for Jephthah to find his fame as a leader of a large band of rebels.

As providence would have it, a war between the Ammonites and Israel began

about this time. Because of their location on the border of Israel, Jephthah and his men

were in a strategic location to engage in guerrilla warfare. No doubt they began to gain

fame from the fact that they were able to raid enemy villages and camps. Like Robin

Hood they became heroes for their daring feats of faith.

When the war with the Ammonites began the leaders of Gilead sent an entourage

to Tob to find and recruit Jephthah to become their commander. What a turn of events,

he went from being a reject to becoming a man regarded as the best hope for Israel in

their war with the Ammonites. How did Jephthah go from being a social reject to a

sought after leader? The Writer of Hebrews is telling us that it was by faith. Not faith in

self, or faith in the system, but faith in God.

It takes faith to rise above rejection and turn lemons into lemonade. It runs

contrary to our emotions, when we are rejected, to believe that we can and will prevail.

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But when our confidence is in the providence of God and the power of God we can

believe that He will plead our cause and He will turn our trials into triumphs.

REFLECT: How do you handle rejection? Does it make you bitter and resentful, or have

to learned to let it make you better and respectful? How do you pray when you have

faced rejection? How do you react to those who have rejected you? Now compare your

reaction to that of Christ as the very people He had come to love and save rejected Him.

Are you Christ-like in your response to rejection?

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